Saturday, 31 July 2010

Garden Pondering....

Get it? Pondering... Luckily we don't have a pond, being the world's most paranoid mother, I would be a nervous wreck each time my two went outside, but we do have a slightly bigger pond in the form of the huge lake up the road from our house, which has meant that being surrounded by water we have masses of dragonflies in our garden (what is the correct collective noun for a group of dragonflies anyway?), they are huge and beautiful. I love them. I will try to take some pictures of them if I can get one to stay still.

This morning we set to work in the garden to get stuff done while the sun shines. This last week we have had so much rain (a good thing, but which will no doubt thrill my little sister who is arriving on Wednesday, and has made plans that mostly involve the beach!), on Tuesday we had the first real rain storm of the season and it was quite impressive! The ground has been baked hard over several weeks of heat and sun, so the rain didn't soak in. Instead, it ran off the surface of the driveway, sweeping garden debris with it and culminating in a huge waterfall that gushed down the steps leading to the basement at the side of our house. The debris collected, blocked the storm drain and a flood ensued. It was lucky that I noticed this happening, I had opened the door to let a friend in when I heard a funny noise and noticed Victoria Falls behind me. I then had to take immediate action, so I put on my husbands flip flops, rolled up my jeans, and wielding a wooden spoon I waded in and started unblocking. It was revolting, at one point I had a stag beetle crawling up my leg. I am just grateful that my friend arrived in time so that she could keep an eye on the children so that they didn't feel the need to "help" me, but even more so for the fact that we were actually at home, had it been last week when we were away, we would have come home to a real mess.

So back to the garden. Five hours of grass-cutting and weeding later, it's beginning to look very tidy (not that it's usually a mess!). I have noticed how everything is so much bigger here though,it could have been the right conditions for them of course, but the weeds are mutant-like they are so big. Gardening if anything, does give you time to think and reflect, and it made me think of my paternal grandmother who died in July last year. As a strong Yorkshire woman she was a real character. In my early teenage years we used to clash enormously, something I obviously regret now. As we both got older, we understood each other a lot more, but I will always remember some of the classic moments such as the family holiday to Greece when I was a teenager. We went out for a meal all together one evening and the waiter asked what I would like to order so I enquired as to whether they had any vegetarian options. My grandmother piped up with "She's not vegetarian, she's just awkward" in her loudest voice. I was livid. It makes my sisters and I howl with laughter now when we remember that comment, along with thousands of others. She was very beautiful in her youth, my grandparents' wedding photograph is just amazing. Her dress was made out of parachute silk, one of the few materials available then just after the war. Shortly before she died she received a medal as official recognition for her services as a Land Girl during WWII. The photographs we have of her time in service will always be really special to me, she looked so happy and it's how I choose to remember her. She would have laughed at my efforts earlier today and told me to "put your back into it lass", I could hear her saying it! It's such a shame she isn't around to visit us here. I miss her.

Five hours is more than enough hard graft for me, I am going to make the most of the rest of the sunshine and watch my husband's attempts at building a swing for the children.


  1. I have a very funny picture of you in my mind water up to your ankle weildinga wooden spoon! I'm surprised you let the beetle climb up your leg!! You hate that kind of thing.....
    You made me laugh reminding me of what Granny said! She was one of a kind!! I miss her too. You also made me cry! xxx

  2. What a legacy of strength, and determination, in the face of anything. Love that even though you didn't see eye to eye on everything you admired her strength and boldness! Thanks for joining in and being the first x

  3. Thanks TheAlexanderResidence! A strong and bold (and often hilarious) woman indeed! I am honoured to be the first! Emma :) xx


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